Comments by Byron Pulsifer, © 2017
"Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential."
It's easy to fall into the trap by thinking that super intelligence wins the day, or has all the success, or gets all the great promotions. The sad truth is that far too many people think this way. The real truth is almost the opposite. One person who forever stands out in my mind is Thomas Edison.
I know it could be argued that he had a superior brain, but more to the point is that his intelligence in and of itself did not lead directly to the invention of the first light bulb. On the contrary, Edison failed thousands of times despite his intelligence. So, what was the underlying secret to his final success? If you guessed that he just got lucky, you'd be dead wrong. But, I'm sure you know the real story. The secret ingredient that Edison used was continuous effort; a tenaciousness that powered him on to his goal.
Potential is a lot more than intelligence, and a lot more than strength. However, when strength (of character) and intelligence is married with effort, you have found a winning combination.
"What you will do matters. All you need is to do it."
The quote by Grahn strongly makes the point that the best intentions are nothing more than hollow words if there are no resultant actions. You don't have to look far to see that this is true. Let me be so bold as to say that you simply have to look at your own life to find examples. And, if you keep your focus on your own family members and extended family members, I know you will find apt examples. Extend this examination to your social group, work group or club and you will easily discover more examples than you really want to.
What is the remedy? Be a doer instead of a talker. Be the inspiration to those immediately around you. Be the model of the behavior you would like to see adopted by your own family members, your work group, your social community, or your favorite club.
"In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy."
Reiland makes a significant point about life that many people should adopt. Why? Let me put the reason why in realistic terms that could be applied to everyday life be that at home or at work.
First, let me ask you a question. Think about this seriously; don't just read over this question without pondering its' true meaning. The question is this: have you ever met an unhappy person who gives others a helping hand; is willing to put others' needs before their own; is always ready to contribute monetarily to aid others in need; is the one who stays behind to clean up when others have left; is the one who supports you when others shun you; and is the one who extends warm wishes, or a smile whenever you meet them?
The point is clear: happiness is not a product of what you get or take; it is a direct result of what and how you give to others be that service, caring, compassion or inspirationally.
"The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself."
MacArthur's quote hits the mark dead on. On many, many occasions, I have heard people complain that they are not lucky. I have heard this sentiment expressed with rapidity in every work environment I've been in. Complaints about having no luck flows from the mouths of those who have been unsuccessful in securing a promotion; from those who have been assigned a challenging task bemoaning that their colleagues were lucky to get an easier assignment; and from those who have to work late in order to get their work caught up.
Luck has absolutely nothing to do with any of the above examples. Preparation is a key ingredient to those who complain they did not get a promotion. These are the very people who shunned extra courses, or rejected opportunities to take on difficult assignments that would have provided them with new skills or a chance to hone current skills and elevate them to a new level of competency. These are the people had to stay late to get their work caught up not because their work load was too heavy but because they spent too much time socializing or sticking their nose into other colleagues business instead of doing their own work.
"The thoughts that come often unsought, and, as it were, drop into the mind, are commonly the most valuable of any we have."
It's a funny thing about getting or receiving a new idea or a way of solving a problem. The most advantageous time to arrive at this stage where thoughts appear to come out of nowhere are those times when your mind is engaged in quiet reflection away from the constant intrusion of sights and sounds; a time when you are away from whatever the issue or problem you need to solve.
This technique of reducing yourself to a level of complete calmness, or going to zero as I like to say, are those times when your mind is not attempting to focus on a resolution or a new method of proceeding.
This is the time when you may be enjoying a quiet walk in the park, or a time when you are calmly engaged in a favorite hobby, or a time when you asleep. The mind relaxes; the subconscious mind is quietly working away, and behold, the idea or thought simply seems to surface.
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen."
Frank Lloyd Wright
When I read Wright's quote, I am reminded of the power of perception. Let me give you a few simple examples.
If you believe that you are going to have a bad day, you will have a bad day; if you believe the project you are about to tackle is undoable, it will be undoable; if you believe that you will never successful, you never will be successful. Why is this? It is the power of perception. I often think of a simple statement that goes like this: if you think there is a ghost behind the tree, than there is a ghost behind the tree. It is really a matter of what you put into your mind as a belief will most often be the outcome.
So, turn those negative thoughts to positive thoughts and you will experience a new level of success; it is a success at the very beginning because you believe it will be so.
"What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine."
We do not know what God intends for us in this life. No matter how smart you think you are, or how strongly you believe that you are in complete control of your own destiny, God's power is far beyond your wildest dreams. If God intended for us to know and understand everything he has in store for us then we would have the same power as God.
If this was the case, we would know exactly what we are to do. But, no one will ever know what God knows. No one will ever understand his great scheme or plans. All of these thoughts we have simply pale in comparison to an Almighty God.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting."
"We must dare to think unthinkable thoughts."
James W. Fulbright
"I learned really to practice mustard seed faith, and positive thinking, and remarkable things happened."
Sir John Walton
"Life itself is the proper binge."
"In any project, the important factor is your belief. Without belief there can be no successful outcome."
"One must live the way one thinks or end up thinking the way one has lived."
"Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in."
"I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through, then follow through."
Captain Edward V. Rickenbacker
"Thought is the strongest thing we have. Work done by true and profound thought - that is a real force."
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